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Four students from the Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Journalism were selected to represent the University at the Duke University Menell Media Exchange (MMX) conference. The week-long MMX conference brought together South African media houses, non-profit organisations, community and independent journalists, bloggers, new media content makers, tech developers, scholars and students. 

In addition, TUT was voted as one of the top five best journalism schools in the country among Wits, Rhodes, UJ and UCT.
The vision of the conference is to create an annual forum for the exchange of ideas, to explore these challenges and to examine useful tools and practices together. “We hope that our project will inspire journalists to continue the work of protecting and building a strong and free media community which is at the very heart of South Africa, realizing its potential as a leader in Africa and around the world,” said Laurie Bley, Director of Duke University.

MMX also aims to familiarise the journalism community to practical tools and resources that will improve their work, create programming to build and support the media community, foster networking, collaboration and mentor relationships, and advocate for press freedoms to enrich and empower the practice of journalism in South Africa.

This year’s MMX event, themed Truth & Trust: Mapping Media’s New Terrain, sought to unpack the multifaceted issues influencing journalism professionals operating in an increasingly globalised, digital-led context.

The students were directly involved in the symposium’s Student Newsroom, reporting on the conference, focusing on stories related to the conference theme.

Newsroom fellows were given an opportunity to practise as journalists in a real-life newsroom run by industry experts. They were exposed to the best journalistic practices which include fact-checking and verification tools, data journalism, mobile journalism and digital storytelling. “It was a great experience. It honed my reporting skills, encouraging me to learn more about journalism,” said Emmanuel Dladla, Journalism student.

The sixth annual conference grew out of a visiting international media program which begun in 2000 in the Sanford School of Public Policy. About 46 fellows have gone through the program since then, in an effort to contribute to a strong and free media by building capacity, knowledge, and stimulating the community.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.